Helpful Tips for Driving in the Roundabouts
The roundabout is a modern alternative to a traditional intersection and is designed to facilitate continuous traffic movement, allowing vehicles to safely enter and exit the new hospital and the WOC and Allegany County Health Department’s Brook Building without having to stop and wait for traffic to pass on Willowbrook Road. Because the roundabout is the first of its kind in the area, most residents are unfamiliar with the driving rules pertaining to roundabouts. In order to ensure the safety of all drivers using the roundabout, it is imperative that all drivers obey posted signs and traffic rules. Basic rules governing use of the roundabout are as follows:
- Vehicles ALREADY IN THE ROUNDABOUT have the right-of-way.
- Vehicles preparing to enter the roundabout MUST YIELD TO THOSE ALREADY INSIDE.
- Always reduce your speed when approaching roundabouts (usually 20-25 mph).
- Observe the marked crosswalk and always stop for pedestrians and bicyclists.
- Move to the yield line and wait for an acceptable gap in traffic prior to entering the roundabout.
- Within the roundabout, do not stop except to avoid a collision. You have the right-of-way over entering traffic. Always keep to the right of the center island and travel in a counter-clockwise direction.
- As you approach your desired exit, USE YOUR TURN SIGNAL and then take the exit. Maintain a slow speed. If you miss your exit point, simply drive around the circle again. You must use your turn signal when exiting at ANY point in the roundabout, even if you are continuing on Willowbrook Road. This lets other drivers waiting to enter the roundabout know if you are exiting the roundabout or continuing to drive in the circle.
- Emergency vehicles have the right of way in all cases, as they would on any other road or intersection.
- There is a wide paved “apron” around the middle of the roundabout which can be used for traffic in an emergency (i.e., to pull out of the way of an emergency vehicle, or to bypass traffic hazards in the roundabout, such as an accident).
The cooperation of all motorists in observing these basic rules will help to ensure the safety of everyone using the new roundabout. More information on roundabouts is available at the State Highway Administration website: http://www.marylandroads.com/safety/oots/roundabouts/index.asp.